Friday, November 2, 2018

Briefcase Doll House

We just celebrated my daughter's 4th birthday.  It's crazy to think that my first post on this blog occured when my oldest was only 4!  

Months ago I found the cutest idea floating around Facebook for a dollhouse that you could carry around.  I just knew that my daughter would love something like that and planned on having it ready by the time of her birthday.

I started off by heading to the local thrift store to find a very small briefcase that I could use for the dollhouse.  Just when I was about to give up this little thing appeared before me.

It was the perfect size!  And once I opened it up I realized that it was an old cassette tape holder... that's not something you see anymore.

After using this free pattern to make some adorable felt paper dolls (and clothes!) I realized that this little home was big enough for 2 dolls. 

 With the original post as inspiration I began to design my dollhouse.  It was fun to go through my stashes of felt and scrapbooking materials to see what I could create.

I decided to modge podge everything (except the felt blankets) because I know how little kids are and didn't want the papers to get dirty or torn.  I also opted not to have a hanger for a change of clothes.  There were two reasons for this--the first is that I made lots of little outfits (not just one) and the second was that the clothes would inevitably fall off once the dollhouse was closed.  Instead I painted a small box to hold all the doll clothes.

Since my briefcase had an extra little insert (originally for hold the cassettes) I decided it would be fun to add a kitchen!

The inside was so cute that I couldn't bear to have her carrying around a drab brown case.  I decided to paint it purple (her favorite color) and modge podge a little house to the outside.

My daughter was thrilled to open this on her birthday and she has already put in a few requests for additions.  We'll see what I can do for her.

This little portable dollhouse is sure to bring hours of fun for one sweet little girl.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pumpkin Banana Muffins (Egg free, Gluten free)

If you're looking for a clean eatin', gluten free, egg free, dairy free, vegan muffin you've come to the right place. These muffins have conquered the impossible. They are so moist and flavorful despite being gluten and egg free.

This is pretty much the only muffin I make these days. This recipe is a great way to use up all my ripe bananas, they're a hit with all my kids, and they're very versatile. To keep things from getting too boring I rotate between adding chopped up apple, mini wild blueberries, and mini chocolate chips to the batter. Even though I use the same base recipe each time my kids feel like they're always getting something new. I do have to note that I am quite opposed to chocolate chips in muffins. The flavor is just wrong to me and I don't think chocolate chips belong in breakfast food. So why I add them to these muffins on occasion is beside me. I guess I love to see the joy on my kids faces when they see chocolate chips in their muffins. I don't know. My favorite way to eat them is without any mix-ins but with pecan pieces sprinkled on top. I'm smart enough to know to only make a few of those per batch though since they aren't very popular with anyone else.

This recipe is quite large, yielding two dozen muffins, so feel free to half it if a smaller batch works better for your family. I like doing a large batch so I can use a whole can of pumpkin without any leftover and I like having some muffins to freeze for a later day.

Pumpkin Banana Muffins


6 overripe bananas
15 ounce can pumpkin (I like this kind)
2/3 cup coconut oil, softened or melted
1 cup honey or pure maple syrup
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups oat flour (I like this kind)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Real Salt
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice
Mix-ins of choice (optional): Pecans, peeled and diced apple, wild blueberries, mini chocolate chips

Get the rest of the recipe over at Nourishing Bites.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

3D Perler Bead Pikachu

My kids went back to school this week. I feel like we start so much later than most of the country since we don't go back until after Labor Day. We had such a great summer that it was hard to send them off. My goal is always to give my kids somewhat of a good ol' fashioned summer. I want summertime to be a chance to slow down and explore life. To keep their eyes away from screens and give them a chance to get plenty of fresh air, go on bike rides, catch fireflies, carve soap, chew gum and learn to blow bubbles, swim, play at the park, read lot of books, do arts and crafts, and hopefully have enough free time that they actually have a chance to be bored once or twice.

One thing my kids had fun with over the summer was creating things out of perler beads. My kids love these things! My nine year old got really creative and figured out how to make a 3D Pikachu. He then went on to make some other Pokemon characters and then my other kids started making them too and before you know it we had a house full of Pokemon!

My son thought other kids might like to learn how to make a 3D Pikachu too so he suggested we could put the instructions up on my blog. So here it is:

How to make a 3D Pikachu out of Perler Beads

Follow the pattern below to create the pieces to build your Pikachu. As you can see the feet on the green plate need to be on a plate that has pegs at an angle.

Here are all the pieces ironed and ready to start building. The key to making your Pikachu come together easily is to iron the pieces just enough to have them melt together. If you use too much heat and pressure so that the pieces get too flat it will be hard for the pieces to fit together easily.

Putting your Pikachu together is kind of like building a 3D puzzle. The pieces fit and lock together. Follow the visual instructions below to build your Pikachu.

All done! Isn't he cute?

Using the basic design of the Pikachu it's easy to create other Pokemon. Here are a few favorites: Wartortle, Charmander, Pikachu, Minccino, and Charizard.

Stay tuned. Coming up next we'll show you how to make a 3D Perler Bead Pokeball!

Now go create 'em all!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Felt Flower Wall Art

Over the summer we rearranged rooms at our house.  Since that time I've been wanting to hang some pictures up on the big empty wall above my daughter's bed.  I had a few pieces I knew I wanted but I needed more to fill out the space.  I searched so many stores for something that caught my eye.  I wanted some sort of flower that popped off the wall.  I just couldn't find anything I loved.  I moved on to scouring Pinterest and decided that I could make some flowers.  I love the huge paper flowers but knowing that they would be within reach of my kids I decided against that idea.  Instead, I settled on felt flowers.  

I found some great tutorials here.  All were fairly simple and only required felt and hot glue!  When I was done making my flowers I spray painted a piece of cardboard to stick in my empty frame.  After deciding on an arrangement for my flowers I hot-glued them to my cardboard.

I am so happy with how my felt flower arrangement turned out and my daughter just adores them up on her wall!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Nourishing Hot Chocolate (Dairy Free, Paleo)

Nothing feels better when you're chilled to the bone on a cold winter day than to drink a nice hot cup of cocoa.  It's amazing how a hot drink can warm you up and make you feel so much better. There are a lot of things I like about this recipe but what I love the most is that it isn't full of sugar. When my kids come in from playing in the snow I hate to hand them mugs of hot chocolate filled with sugar day after day. That's definitely not what their little bodies need to keep them healthy over the long winter. This recipe is sweetened with a little bit of honey so you can fill good about letting your kids drink it all season long.

I also love how rich and creamy this cocoa is and that it keeps me feeling full for hours thanks to a spoonful of grass-fed butter and coconut oil I throw in there. (And in case you've heard the rumors that coconut oil isn't healthy you just *might* have been hoodwinked. I love what this cardiologist says about coconut oil and what this researcher shares about who funded the studies that the American Heart Association based their claims on. Hmmm...)

This recipe is also incredibly flexible. Allergic to eggs? Leave it out. Not a huge fan of dark chocolate? Add less cocoa powder. Don't have any coconut oil on hand? Just double the butter. Do what works for you. Chances are you won't go wrong.

Nourishing Hot Chocolate


1 cup boiling water
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
1 tablespoon gelatin (I like Vital Proteins)
1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
1 egg (preferably pastured)
small pinch of sea salt (I like Real Salt)

Get the rest of the recipe over at Nourishing Bites. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Family Home Evening Board

Since my daughter's birth nearly 3 years ago I've needed to update my Family Home Evening board.  My boys have been nagging me to do it for years.  Now that she is old enough to participate and wants to be included I figured I should finally get it done.  After pondering about it for a long time I finally figured out what I wanted to do. 

I scoured the stores for a magnet board just the right size for my space.  Target, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Walmart . . . you name it, I looked there.  Finally, I found what I needed on Amazon. I checked and double-checked in the description and the questions to make sure the board was the right size. (I really hate returning stuff!)

 I then designed the board with my Silhouette software.  The fonts I used were Magnolia Sky (one of my favorites right now!) and Penelope Anne.

After applying the vinyl to my board (the small lettering was so hard . . . so if you're planning to using that font don't say I didn't warn you!) I printed up some recent pictures of our family all in black and white.  I mounted and laminated them and after cutting them out I applied some magnetic tape to the back.  I bought my magnetic tape at Hobby Lobby but you can find it on Amazon as well.

I'm so happy with my new board and my kids are thrilled to have updated pictures!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

$3 Silhouette Art Switch Up

A few years ago I shared the silhouette pictures I hung up in my daughters nursery. Now with a baby boy on the way I decided to keep things simple with the nursery and switch out all the pink for blue. The nursery was already pretty neutral so my decor change just required a new crib sheet, curtains, and silhouette art.

I love these frames. I originally bought them from the dollar store and I have really gotten my money's worth out of them.

For the art I did some google searching on the internet to find silhouette images I liked and then printed them off onto card stock. Easy-peasy!

I also found the perfect spot to hang this "Day in the Life of a Little Boy" picture by Norman Rockwell that my sister gifted to me years ago. I was glad to have an excuse to hang it up again because I think it's so cute.

I love how this room has come together. Super simple without too much fluff. Just the way I like it!

Now that the nursery is ready we're just waiting on baby boy to arrive. Hopefully any day now!